My big discovery this year has been that a lot of my “shoulds” are not really as essential as I thought.
Sometimes it is possible to get what we most need, even if it doesn’t appear as if we can.
I work a very busy and stressful job and am the sole income earner for our household. Other people depend on me. I pinned all my hopes of having my life a little more how I want it (full time fiction writer, my dream since my teens, when I was firmly told that was not an option, and silly me, I listened!) for when my life situation changed and I could take early retirement and move back to Australia.
One day I realised I’d been playing it safe too long and the time to start making my life how I wanted it is right now, not five or ten or fifteen years in the future.
Next month, I drop back to part time hours in my job. Still playing it safe- it will bring in just enough to cover all the bills as long as we are frugal- but changing the balance totally. I’ll be a full time writer and part time nurse, not someone who squeezes writing in when they can, in the cracks.
The next big challenge- finding a writing space.
We live in a tiny one bedroom house. No chance of carving out any private space where I wouldn’t be interrupted. My husband doesn’t work, so he’s home all day every day. With the best will in the world to give me peace and quiet (and as an extrovert, he is totally unable to understand anyone needing peace and quiet!), he going to have to come into our bedroom from time to time during the day. I could see myself using him as an excuse for not writing and getting angry and resentful. I had to get a writing space. I checked out all the local options. The town library? No, far too noisy, they have school kids doing classes in there every day of the week. A coffee shop? None really felt comfortable as somewhere I could buy a diet coke and sit in the corner writing for few hours.
My solution (as my solutions often are!) was an extreme and impulsive one- let’s move house. There are a couple of two bedroom houses we could almost afford in town. One I adore and would love to live in, an old 16th century cottage, tiny and low ceilinged, but yes, it has two bedrooms.
After a lot of
arguing discussing with my husband yesterday, it became clear that is not an option. There are many things he doesn’t like about our present house, but he wants to move even less.
Then this morning he surprised me. He offered my his garden shed. That’s a really big thing for him to do.
It’s a nice shed, only 8 foot by 6 foot, but that will be big enough to use as a combination writing sewing room if I design the space carefully. You can see the corner of it in the photo of part of the garden. He bought this himself when he was trying to set up a computer repair business. That didn’t work out and the shed has mainly been used for storage since, but it’s always been his space.
Something I have to admit I’ve resented. I desperately need private space, and I haven’t had that since we got married. This was his house for over twelve years before we met. My little studio flat was even less suitable for us both to live in, so I moved into his place, supposedly only as a temporary thing until we bought a place that was “ours”. That was nearly ten years ago!
So, now it’s clear we won’t be moving anywhere for a while. And as a peace offering, he’s giving me his shed. It needs fixing up on the inside, lining and redecorating, but he’s agreed I can do it however I want. I’m going to enjoy doing that. He loses his shed, in return he gets a happier wife and no pressure to move house. He thinks it’s a fair deal, I do too!
So it actually looks like I am going to have it all, time to write and space to write, something that seemed impossible at the start of the year!
It’s definitely worth asking yourself- where are you playing it safe and limiting yourself? What are you not doing right now that you wish you could? Is there any way you could do that now?
If not, why not?